Masaryk was a critical thinker, a quality that the Czech intellectual world lacked and may continue to lack for a long time. What would he say today?
14 June 1939
In the National Theatre, a crowd erupts in cheers and applause, swept up by the melodies and rhythms of the Slavonic dances. From the walls above, portraits of men and women dressed in ancient costumes observe, unmoved. One of them cradles a scroll with folk songs, another clutches verses entitled “Slavonic woman”, while a third discreetly conceals his contribution to this evening's entertainment within the folds of his old-fashioned coat. The lifeless eyes of women, once so captivated by the dance, now gaze dreamily at us. The Muse of Immortality, whose embrace has rendered the shoulders of these figures rigid, and whose hands have broken off unnecessary parts of their limbs and bodies, moves in synchrony with the Muse of Music. This music and dance resonate across the world,
The fierce Bellona charges through the space, her voice resounding across the world, drowning out the melodies and dances of the Muses. “No more singing, no more poetry, no more dancing!” Make way! Clear the path for that fearsome roar that drowns out all other sounds! Citizens of every nation, heed Bellona as she soars through the air, with her terrifying cry: “I am the master of the masses! I dictate labour in mines, factories, and fields. You shall obey me! If I so choose, you will die of hunger, thirst, or cold. I reign over countless multitudes worldwide. If I desire, all radio stations will fall silent, and you shall hear nothing except my voice – the voice of Bellona! Down with all adornments; only my image shall remain on every corner, or the image of the one I choose.”
Strikes and lockouts are strictly prohibited. The authorities in Prague and Brno issued this decree yesterday: Pursuant to Article 3 of Act No. 125/1927 of 14th July, I hereby stipulate that, in the interest of undisturbed economic development and the maintenance of labour peace, it is forbidden to seek changes in labour relations through mass work stoppages, i.e., strikes, or lockouts.
Bellona was right last night.
The word has gotten out that a German policeman in Kladno was killed by the hand of a fellow German following a heated argument in a local pub over a woman. The assailant is reportedly hospitalized with gunshot wounds, and a German bullet discovered in the victim’s body serves as proof that the policeman was indeed killed by a compatriot.